March 2, 2010
LIMA — The 2010 Jefferson Awards nominations are proof that good deeds don’t go unnoticed — and that there’s no shortage of good deeds in our area.
For 10 years, the annual award has recognized people who go above and beyond by volunteering and helping nearly every faction of our community.
The eight Jefferson Award winners were announced Tuesday. The 10-person judging committee received 26 nominations this year.
Judges committee chairwoman Lelia Osting said it is always humbling to see the quality of nominations.
“It amazes me every year on how many people are so truly involved in the communities and what they do contribute.”
Winners will be recognized at a banquet March 23, where they’ll receive a bronze medallion and $350 for a charity of their choice. One person will also be chosen to go on to the national Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June.
The eight winners were:
• Rachel Barber, of Wapakoneta, who has worked to promote and beautify her city through getting recognition as a “Tree City,” developing a city walking tour, and publishing a 316-page city history.
• Harold Gerten, of Columbus Grove, who refurbished computers and set up wireless networks at 12 nursing homes in four counties to help residents better communicate with family and friends.
• David Howell, of Delphos, who helped bring Habitat for Humanity to Delphos and has organized community groups to bring together city residents. He also helped the Delphos Thrift Shop get a new facility.
• Mary Lou Krietemeyer, of Fort Jennings, who not only organizes Putnam County’s Red Cross blood drives, but bakes the cookies and cakes given at the drives. Along with Red Cross disaster relief, she helps many other county organizations.
• Rick Miller, of Delphos, who works with “Up to the Challenge” to hold several activities for 200 disabled youth and adults in Allen, Putnam and Auglaize counties. A cancer survivor, he’s also a regular at the Delphos Relay for Life.
• Barbara and Arliss Plaugher, of Bluffton, who work for Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity, which provides eyeglasses to Third World countries. Barbara has coordinated more than 25 mission trips in the last 20 years.
• Bonnie Shook, of Lima, who has worked with the Lima Scouting community for more than 50 years and led the “Learning for Life” reading program for 13 years.
• Larry Webb, of Van Wert, who has been involved with the Van Wert Historical Museum for more than 25 years, helping it expand its collection and working to preserve the history of the Lincoln Highway.
The Lima News, WLIO and the United Way of Greater Lima sponsor the awards.